[PC-BSD Testing] First look: Ubuntu 9.10 alpha 2 brings Ext4, GRUB 2

Jeff dejamuse at yahoo.com
Tue Jun 16 20:26:08 PDT 2009

          First look: Ubuntu 9.10 alpha 2 brings Ext4, GRUB 2
9.10, codenamed Karmic Koala, is scheduled to arrive in October. Ars
takes a look at the second alpha release, which was made available for
download last week.
          Ryan Paul
          |  June 16, 2009 - Ars Technica

9.10, codenamed Karmic Koala, is the next major release of the popular
Ubuntu Linux distribution. Karmic is scheduled to arrive in October,
but developers can get an early look by testing the latest alpha
release, which was made available for download last week. Although
Karmic is still at a very early stage of development, several major
features have already arrived.
I tested the alpha release myself
in VirtualBox on my main desktop computer. I was able to install and
run alpha 2 without encountering any difficulties. The installation
went smoothly and the new version of GRUB (GNU's GRUB bootloader) is
working fine.
The roadmap for Ubuntu 9.10 was originally announced in
February. Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth declared that some of the
prominent features will include extensive support for cloud computing
and netbook compatibility improvements. During the recent Ubuntu
Developer Summit in Barcelona, the developers also discussed some other
experimental features that are tentatively planned for the Karmic
These include support for running Android applications,
integration of social networking software, improved development tools,
the inclusion of Firefox 3.5, and usability enhancements. Ubuntu will
also begin taking major steps towards reducing boot time so that the
developers' ambitious ten-second startup goal can be achieved in 10.04, the next major release after Karmic.

The latest packages have been synchronized from Debian unstable, as
is customary at the start of each Ubuntu development cycle. It includes
GNOME 2.27, a development version that will be replaced by 2.28 in the
final Ubuntu 9.10 release. Karmic alpha 2 also ships with version
2.6.30 of the Linux kernel.

There are several major changes under the hood that users can look
forward to in Karmic. Ext4, a new version of the standard Linux
filesystem, is used by default for new installations. This is a step
forward from Ubuntu 9.04, which only made Ext4 available as an option.
Previous versions of Ext4 suffered from a controversial data corruption
flaw and was not considered reliable enough for default use until now.

The bootloader is another major component that has been rolled over to the next generation in Karmic. The alpha 2 release ships with GRUB 2,
the next-generation of GNU's GRUB bootloader. It has been rewritten
from scratch to deliver significantly greater flexibility and important
features like localization support.

There are still some aspects of GRUB 2 that are not yet working
properly in this alpha release, the most notable of which is support
for booting other operating systems. Users with multiboot
configurations are encouraged to wait for alpha 3 or use a workaround
to install GRUB 1. The Ubuntu developers are seeking help from the community to test the new version of GRUB on a wide range of hardware configurations. Testing instructions and a growing list of results can be found at the Ubuntu wiki.

If you want to test alpha 2 yourself, you can download a CD image from the Ubuntu website.


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